The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good by Peter Greer with Anna Haggard

Reposting this 2013 review because the Kindle Edition is on sale for $2.99.

The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good by Peter Greer with Anna HaggardTakeaway: Serving God and others can be its own reward, and that is the root of the spiritual danger.

I have spent my whole adult working career in the Christian non-profit world.  I have witnessed a number of situations where there has been burnout, mistreatment of staff (in the name of doing good), failure of leadership, leaders ending badly and more.

Peter Greer is the CEO of Hope International, a micro-credit non-profit working in 16 countries in Africa, Asia, South American and Eastern Europe. In a very readable, and story laden book, Greer (and his co-author Anna Haggard) walk through 14 different spiritual dangers that particularly affect those that are trying to do good, especially doing good in Christ’s name.

I remember reading an article while in grad school that people in service professions, especially those that view themselves as doing good, can actually be more likely to lie and mislead those around them because they feel they deserve it or because their good works off-set any ‘small mistakes’ that they make.  That article had a lot of influence on the ways I thought about doing good work.  This is only one of the areas that Greer mentions, but he does give a lot of examples of how we can miss what we are actually striving for in the process of doing good.

Some of the spiritual dangers are neglecting family, doing instead of being, using the wrong measuring stick to define success, being superficial, elevating the sacred over the secular and more.

There is nothing in this book that is particularly original, other books say fairly similar things, but this is the only book that I know that is particularly focused on those that work in Christian non-profits.

And even if other books have said similar things, it is a message that we often forget and we all can use a reminder.  The book has discussions questions and would make a good discussion book for a non-profit staff or small group.

The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good by Peter Greer with Anna Haggard Purchase Links: Hardcover, Kindle Edition


A PDF copy of the file was provided by the publisher for the purposes of review

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